Sunday, January 29, 2006

Rabbi Kaduri's Funeral

I heard late last night that Israel's elder kabbalist, Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri zt"l, had passed away. I could not help but feel sad, even the though the rabbi was well over 100 years old. Our nation had lost a great and special man.

Many years ago I wanted to receive a blessing from the rabbi. After the morning prayers I took a bus to the Bucharian neighborhood in Jerusalem. Rabbi Kaduri had not completed the morning prayers, even though he had started them well before dawn. That is because the rabbi's prayers were said using special kabbalistic "kavanot". I waited for the rabbi to finish his prayers. After he was finished many who were there requested his blessing. Finally my turn came and he placed his hand upon my head. I did not understand what the rabbi said. That is probably because I did not know Hebrew well enough back then. Those who were there told me to say "Amen" so I did.

I saw Rabbi Kaduri on many occasions. People always requested his blessing, and he never refused. He would smile and place his hand upon the head of all those who wanted to be blessed. Such was the way of this great man, a man whose heart was filled with Ahavat Yisrael and sought neither material gain nor honor.

After bringing my son back home from kindergarten, I ate lunch. I fell a little guilty about this. How can I eat while the funeral of the great kabbalist is now underway? The radio announced that the funeral procession would make its way from the Bucharian neighborhood to the Givat Shaul cemetery. I decided that I would join the procession in Givat Shaul, not too far away from my home. This would surely be a huge event, with myriads of Jews taking part. My past experience had taught me that I would need emotional and physical strength if I wanted to be in the midst of such a massive crowd. I ate well because I knew what was ahead of me.

When I arrived on Givat Shaul Street I saw the crowds of people arrive from the Romema neighborhood, filling the entrance to Jerusalem. The crowd was mostly made up of black-hatted ultra-Orthodox Jews, but there were many kippot serugot as well. I had expected the procession to pass on Givat Shaul Street, but it continued on the much wider Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway. Making my way through some narrow alleyways, I succeeded in joining the procession. I was able to get within a few meters of the car that carried the rabbi's body. The car itself was surrounded by policemen, which in turn were surrounded by the thousands who had come to pay the rabbi their last respects. The mourners chanted "Yoshev Besetter Elyon" as the procession turned left at Ginot Sakharov. The crowd was dense to the point of being unbearable. I felt like a lone water molecule being driven forward by a vast wave in the ocean. Falling down at this point would probably mean getting trampled to death.

As the procession had reached the Herzog Hospital I decided that it was time for me to leave. I made my way to the sidewalk and started walking back towards Givat Shaul Street. I meet a few friends along the way. I hope the next time I meet them will be at a happier occasion. All of a sudden a commotion: Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak passes by surrounded by a bunch of boys that form a ring about him. I did not see his face, but it was him. His traditional Yemenite dress and hat are unmistakable. I remember seeing him for the first time about 13 years ago in Kibbutz Chafetz Chaim, when he wasn't so famous. Since then he has distributed millions of cassettes and helped thousands of Jews become closer to their Father in heaven. He also has some miracles to his credit, as is known to anyone who has seen his videos.

I returned home and the radio announced that the police estimate that there were over 200,000 people who took part in the funeral procession, over 200,000 people who took time off from whatever they were doing to pay last respects to Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri. The people whom Rabbi Kaduri loved showed that the feeling was mutual. May his memory be a blessing.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Blogging An Jewish-Arab Dialogue

Blogger Yoel Ben-Avraham apparently never rests! He has created a new blog called "Between Shilo and Turmos Ayya":
A Jewish "Settler" resident of the modern Jewish community of Shilo which grew up beside the site of ancient Biblical Shilo exchanges email messages with an Arab, resident of the village of Turmosayya, located in the valley beneath Shilo. Is there a place for true dialog between the two?
So far, it looks like the answer is "no". But we will, bli nedder, check in from time to time to see what's doing.

Avri Ran Acquitted and Freed After Months in Jail

Please read the entire article.

Caroline Glick also wrote about this. (Hat tip: Joe Settler)

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Some New Links

Learn Hebrew Verbs - another great web site from Jacob Richman. From the site announcement:
Learn Hebrew verbs is a free, on-line, educational resource
containing 300 Hebrew verbs conjugated in all tenses
(past, present, future, imperative).
The site menu provides selection by one tense or all tenses;
gender or both genders; singular and/or plural.
For your convenience, you can choose a Hebrew or English
menu to navigate the site.

The site is unique because you do not need Hebrew fonts to
display the Hebrew words. All words (including the nikud - vowels)
are displayed using graphics. There are over 10,000 graphic
images in the system.

Both the student and the teacher will find the site easy to use
and very educational. As mentioned, the site is free to all.

Shofar News - Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak's Shofar organization has a Hebrew news site.

Darga - learn taamei hamikra.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Our World: The fictitious 'third way'

Caroline Glick does it again, cutting through the spins of the MSM to give us some truth! A must read!

Tablature For "King Without A Crown"

Here are the tabs to that nifty guitar counterpoint in the chorus of Matisyahu's "King Without A Crown." Notice how it is constructed of tones from the chords.

(Note: This is my own work and represents my interpretation of the song. You may only use this for private study, scholarship, or research.)

Play this twice:


Then this:



Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Arms Smuggling Into Gaza Strip Increases Tenfold

Arutz 7 reports
:“The smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza has jumped by hundreds of percent in comparison to the period before the disengagement,” Diskin told the committee. “If before the disengagement, 200-300 rifles were smuggled in per month, now, we’re talking about 3000” per month.
But that's not all:
Terrorist attacks and attempts to carry out such attacks are also on the rise since the disengagement. Diskin said that in October there were 48 such incidents, as compared to 277 in December.
A while back, I left the following comment on Kantor's blog:
The minute that the IDF stops patrolling the Egyptian border anything and everything will be smuggled into Gaza.
You can't say that I didn't warn you.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

10th Of Tevet

Today is a fast day, the 10th of Tevet. May those fasting have a meaningful fast.

A Year Of Blogging

I've been blogging for about a year now, and it is time to see how successful this endeavour has been.

1) Much of the blogging was against the "disengagement", i.e. the destruction of the Jewish communitees in the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria in return for nothing. The destruction took place.

2) I came out against the starving of Terri Schiavo to death. R.I.P.

3) Here and there I criticized the MSM. Nothing has really changed on this front either. As Arik Einstein sang, "Baitonim kotvim mah sheheim rotzim" (The newspapers write what they want).

This blog has not been very successful at changing the world. For some it has provided a layman's view of life here in Israel. At least it has been interesting and fun.

Monday, January 09, 2006


Tovya tagged me with this MEME. (Thanks a lot Tovya!)

Four Jobs I Have Held in My Life:

(1) Warehouseman
(2) Fast Food Worker
(3) Security Guard
(4) Tour Guide

Four Movies I Could Watch Over and Over:

Not applicable. The only movie that I went to see in the past twenty years is Ushpizin, and once was enough.

Four Place I Have Lived:

(1) Highland Park, N.J.
(2) Brooklyn, N.Y.
(3) Beit El
(4) Jerusalem

Four TV Shows I Love to Watch:

Not applicable.

Four Places I've Been on Vacation:

(1) Gush Katif (I shed a tear)
(2) Nir Etzion
(3) Kinar
(4) Florida

Four Websites I Visit Daily (for me, regularly):

(1) Many of the blogs on my blogroll
(2) Arutz Sheva
(3) Jewish Blogging
(4) Jrants

Four Books I'll Read Over and Over Again (with G-d's help):

(1) Mesilat yesharim
(2) Orot
(3) Tal Hermon
(4) Sichot HaRav Tzvi Yehuda

Ariel Sharon Jokes

It was inevitable that these kind of jokes would start being circulated. The other day a friend of mine asked me if I got the SMS (text message) on my cellphone. I said that I did not. He told me that he got a message to requesting him to join a prayer service on behalf of Ariel Sharon at the central synagogue of Neve Dekalim.

(Neve Dekalim was one of the the communitiees that Sharon destroyed. The synagogue was later set ablaze by the Arabs.)

Haveil Havalim #52 At Israel Perspectives

Ze'ev has done a great job as usual.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

I Don't Know Who To Vote For

Israeli elections are coming up and I am pondering who to vote for. I do know who I don't want to vote for:


and the rest of the left.

On the right side of the political map we have:

Mafdal - their behavior in this Knesset was disgraceful. They went into a government with the anti-religious Shinui party. They brought in Effie Eitam to lead the party, but then prevented him from leading the party.

Likud - Bwa Ha Ha!

National Union - They have some religious members but they are not a religious party by definition.

Agudat Yisrael - they helped the government survive during the destruction of Gush Katif and Northern Samaria.

Shas - probably the only party that was not stained by supporting this government in any way. But how can I vote for Shas when they were part of the Rabin government that initiated the Oslo disaster?

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Matisyahu Chords: Warrior

This song is pretty simple as far as chords are concerned. The intro and the chorus:

D | | | C#m | | | Bm | | | | | | C#m (repeat as necessary)

The rest of the song:

F#m | | | | | | | A | | | | | | | (repeat as necessary)
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